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St. Louis Area Diaper Bank Introduces First Period Guide

Go with the flow booklet

Saint Louis University graduate students create Go with the Flow, a menstrual booklet funded by the college’s 1818 Community Engagement Grant program

(St. Louis, Mo., June 2, 2021) — St. Louis Area Diaper Bank and its St. Louis Alliance for Period Supplies (STL APS) program recently released a new period guide for first-time menstruators.  The Go with the Flow booklet was created by a team of graduate students from the School of Public Health and Social Justice at Saint Louis University through the college’s grant program.

Each year Saint Louis University’s 1818 Community Engagement Grant program awards 18 grants of up to $1,800 each to groups of students and faculty, in partnership with a local nonprofit, to make a positive impact on the community.  SLU graduate students who created the Diaper Bank’s guide – Onyekachukwu Anikamadu, Gabriella Schmidt-Grimminger, Allie Pinson, Adrienne Beckett-Ansa, and Jilliam Root – held local focus groups for menstruators ages nine to 13 to gather data for the booklet.

The booklets were designed to reduce negative period stigma and increase correct menstrual hygiene education, as well as give young menstruators autonomy over a traditionally frustrating and stress-inducing life event.  The Diaper Bank will give these published guides to its partners, who will distribute the free guides to trusted service providers and caregivers.

Founded in 2019, STL APS is a Diaper Bank program that collaborates with the National Diaper Bank Network and its Alliance for Period Supplies.  The service distributes period supplies through community partners, as well as advocates for the elimination of “period poverty”.  To date more than 450,000 period supplies have been distributed in St. Louis, with 10,800 period supplies allocated each week.  Last year two-thirds of low-income women in St. Louis could not afford menstrual hygiene products, with 46% of low-income women having to choose between food and period products.

“Most menstruators are unprepared for their first period, so this booklet guides them through the process in a fun and friendly way,” said St. Louis Area Diaper Bank Executive Director Muriel Smith.  “We are truly grateful to SLU and its graduate students who created a guide that discusses all the topics and questions our community’s youth have but may be too inhibited to ask.”

Founded in 2014, the St. Louis Area Diaper Bank provides diaper access to the region’s low-income families, as well as raises community awareness about the causes and consequences of diaper need.  The nonprofit is a member of the National Diaper Bank Network, a nationwide nonprofit dedicated to eliminating diaper need in America.  For information, call (314) 624-0888 or visit their website.

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